tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC October 13, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on "world news," finally, looking up at the sky. the first miner out, a young dad, working there to make sure his little boy could go to college. the second miner, bringing souvenirs, rocks from a half mile down. and then, running before the crowd in elation. the eighth miner, a 34-year-old who asked his girlfriend to marry him so many times, finally hearing her say "yes." and the 18th miner, falling to his knees. watched by his country and the
world, believing in hope again. tonight, a special edition of "world news," the miracle at the mine. good evening. and all day long, billions of people all around the earth have been watching a celebration, as one by one, a group of ordinary men, chilean miners, remind the world of the joy of fresh air, sunlight, life, family and tomorrow. at this moment, most of the miners are safely above ground, after almost 2 1/2 months in darkness. and our team is covering it all tonight from the breakthrough technology that made it happen to the effects on the human body. but let's begin with bill weir at the mine. bill? >> reporter: diane, you know, for about 130 years, this mine has produced copper, a little bit of gold. but today, it produced men. living, joy was men with
alarming, alarming efficiency. we just watched our 27th rescue in less than 24 hours. they will certainly finish this tonight. heaven willing. and as for those in the hospital, as they go in for medical treatment, one has pneumonia, but most of them are in remarkable shape, which may explain why we've seen so much joy, as the guys express their love of freedom in their own unique ways. among all of today's epic exits, the gestures of esteban rojas seemed to say it all as he fell to his knees, thanked his god and clung to his wife of 25 years. it was an explosion of emotion, pent up by ten weeks in the dark, and one tunnel ride into the light. the escape shaft is almost a half mile long, the equivalent of a ride up two empire state buildings an an elevator no wider than a bicycle tire.
the fenix capsule was designed with lubricated wheels, but most reported a bumpy ride. the first man up in last night's rescue, his son a great sight. but of course, the last rescue is yet to come. and that is certain to be memorable and for those scoring at home, 13 of the miners got hugs from the chilean president, four of them fell to their knees. you would expect them to kiss the earth, but it's not the dirt they messed, but the sun. but finally got it today. >> remembering sky, after all that time. tell me about the capsule itself. we've been watching all day and it's looking a little worse for wear as it comes up each time. is that a problem? >> reporter: well, it's -- they had to stop and grease it at one time.
there are those wheels that provide some abbatement from the friction going up and down the shaft there. but this vehicle is decembstine go down in history as truly a feat of engineering that worked. >> we're going to tell everybody more about that in a minute. thank you, bill. but of course, as they bring to the surface with them, the lessons about what it is to stifle fear, panic and hold on. we want to learn them. and john quinones went to chile to bring some of them back. >> reporter: this 40-year-old tour guide on those amazing videos seen around the world. this morning, above ground, he was the one who handed out those rocks as souvenirs. and then he said something shocking. "some day, i will go back down there to work in those mines," he says. back down to where a band of brothers taught us how to survive together. and what about 19-year-old jimmy sanchez?
his father said he was having nightmares down there. he was panicked, thinking he was going to die of hunger. when he made it up today, jimmy's father was waiting. a giant smile of relief. and then, there's jose owe hay day. the 46-year-old diabetic. when he came out today, he staggered from the capsule, weary, but relieved. late today, i find out for all those days down below, jose was helped by this man, jose enree kez, the 54-year-old father of two who became the miners' spiritual leader. i spoke on the phone to his brother, still standing by the mouth of the mine, waiting for jose. "it was my brother, he says, who single handedly kept the spirits of those men strong. in a way, he kept them alive. as i spoke to him, they could
hear the roar of cheers as ootd miner made it to the top. and then, just minutes later, jose, the spiritual leader himself, made it to the top. his strong faith, safes his brother, never let anyone doubt that this was going to happen. but among those still below tonight, the man they called don louise. remember, mario the tour guide said louiie luis. he kept them alive in the first 17 days by por chunning out that milk, those crackers and tuna. just two teaspoons every 48 hours. and when those days down below turn into weeks and months it was don luis who assigned the men jobs. some could clean, some would shovel rocks, but it kept them busy. he will be the last one looking up before he rises towards all the men he helped save.
>> the 33 miners said there was another one down there with them. >> reporter: yeah, they said there's one more, 34. the higher power that's helped us survive. >> god was with them, they believe. thank you, john quinones. and we want to ask about the affect of 90 degree heat and 90% humidity on the human body. dr. richard besser is with us. something simple, the sunglasses. when can they take them off? >> reporter: that's right. they all had these. they can probably take them off within the next couple of days. when you live in total darkness, your eyes lose their ability to handle light. and if you come up to the light suddenly, it can damage the back of your eye to lead to permanent eye damage. so, mainly precautionary but they'll be following them in the hospital in darkened rooms and slowly bring them to another light. >> we heard about one case of pneumonia, but you think of all that humidity as a breeding
ground for fungus and rashes. what else can they expect? >> reporter: it is. fun gal infections, if you are talking athlete's foot, ringworm, are a big problem in that kind of environment. so, to try to reduce that, because miners all over the world have those problems, they gave them special clothing. they gave them socks that have copper oxide in them, the gold in there. that can help reduce the effects. they gave them clothes to wick away the moisture. hopefully it will be less than it would have been. >> and john just told us, every other day in the 17 days, they got just a morsel of food, and you say this is a master class in how to bring people back from starvation? >> that's right. if this is what they were eating before, during the 17 days, if you let someone eat at will, it could kill them. that's been seen in refeeding many, many times. you have to very slowly bring them back, or it will put them into heart failure, it can put them into kidney failure. they brought them back based on all the science we've learned
from space flight. it was really an absolute incredible feat of medical science. >> all right, rich, thank you so much and we'll be following everything as it continues to happen tonight. and so many of us have been asking all day long, how did chile do it? how did they orchestrate such a delicate operation with such precision, cooperation and success and how do we compare it to what happened here, say, in the gulf spill or the mine disaster right here at home? jeffrey kofman has been our lead recorder on this story for almost ten weeks, and he givens us his analysis tonight. >> reporter: it was an accident in a troubled mine that doesn't have the safety equipment it should have. a missing escape ladder would have given the men a way out. but there was nothing accidental about today's outcome. within hours, chile's government took over the search. they used every resource they had to find the 33 working men. it took 17 days and, against impossible odds, they found
them. a day after the men were found, we talked to chile's minister of mines. he already had a plan. >> we are plan whole support system for food, for psychological health, et cetera. so, we are going to keep them alive and in good shape. >> reporter: and they did. with no playbook, no precedent, chilean engineers invented a system to sustain the men through a six-inch ole. they shuttled them everything they needed in miniature. at the same time, they had to devise a plan to get the men out. yes, a rescue capsule was used in the quecreek mine in pennsylvania, but that was 2 30 feet down this was ten-times deeper. at the same time, engineers were designing the capsule. this was the chilean effort, but the government did not hesitate to call on international expertise.
a canadian oil drill. a cable from germany so the rescue capsule wouldn't spin. help from argentina, spain and south africa. here in chile, no time was wasted pointing fingers. the government simply took charge. it is a far cry from the much criticized u.s. response to recent disasters where former regular lay tomorrows say politics frequently trumps action. >> the unions are concerned because they want to be able to show where there were problems in mine safety, the mine owners are concerned, because they want to be able to show they were doing everything. the regular ttors, the oversigh. what we need to become more accustomed to is, when the crisis occurs, focus on slowly doing the rescue. >> reporter: there is an interesting contradiction here, diane. this accident was called by the failure of safety inspectors, but the swift and e firnt response of the government turned what could have been a
tragedy into an inspiration. >> all right, jeffrey, and you've been up so many hours and so many days, you're getting a little sick, take care of that. and of course, at the head of that government is the chile's president, who insisted early on, every effort be made. even people doubteded they were alive, he said, i believe they are. i talked with president pinera today. we saw miner after miner come up to you, grab your hands, hug you, what were they saying to you? >> first of all, they were so grateful of life, so full of hope and trust. and they, first of all, they had their wives, their daughters, their parents, and they were really full of life. full of emotions. full of joy. not only in chile, all over the world, and the miners, they gave us a lesson, a lesson of unity, of work in partnership, of faith, of hope. so, it has been a day that we
will never, never forget. >> we heard from so many people that even when they didn't believe they could be alive, you still did believe. why? >> i had an inner voice that told me, at all times, they are alive. we have a commitment with them, we have to search them and look for them until we find them. >> so, many people are commending you and chile for the way this was handled. what's the big lesson for crisis management? >> many lessons. first of all, that you have to start working with all your energy and all your resources from the very first moment. you can not waste a second. and, in our case, we didn't. from the very first moment, we decided to take full responsibility for the rescue effort. second lesson, never lose your faith and hope. never give up. >> will you sleep a lot tonight?
>> even if i cannot sleep tonight, it will be a very wonderful night. i will remember it forever. >> thank you. >> guy yadiane, thank you very . >> president pinera. and we have a lot more on the miners still coming up, but also on "world news," mom in chief michelle obama, force of nature. can she save her husband's party? and also, a lot more on the miners, as we said, but also, the foreclosure fiascfiasco, go national. will mortgage companies have to stop the mortgage foreclosures, because they're breaking the law?
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mo moving on to other headlines tonight. the democrats call in person, her the reluctant warrior, the closer, the secret weapon. but michelle obama prefers a different title, and sharyn alfonsi spent the day on the campaign trail with the first lady. >> reporter: in milwaukee today, no mud slinging. instead, a focus on her role as the self-described mom in chief. >> the children are at the center of my world. >> but the truth is, it is going to take a longer time to dig ourselves out of this hole than any of us would like.
>> reporter: the white house is now dispatching michelle obama to help candidates in eight key states over the next three weeks. >> i've heard people say, the one i want to meet is michelle obama. >> reporter: today, she was in wisconsin with senator russ feingold. do you think she's a greater asset than the president? >> no, the president is number one. but she's a close second. >> reporter: but the numbers tell a different story. the first lady's favorability rating, 68%. and in a more recent poll, her husband's, 50%. why do you like her? >> because she is so -- she seems to down to earth. >> reporter: even so, linda fisher told us, that's not likely to influence her vote. >> something needs to be changed. we need new blood. >> reporter: democrats hope the first lady's star power can help rally the base and bring a cash infusion to struggling candidates. tickets for fund-raisers with the first lady range from $250 to more than $30,000 for preferred seating and a picture.
meaning it costs more to mingle with her than the president. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, milwaukee. coming up, is it possible there will be a halt in foreclosures in all 50 states? a battle cry, and what it means for you and your neighbors. [ man ] if it was simply about money, every bank loan would be a guarantee of success. at ge capital, loaning money is the start of the relationship, not the end. i work with polaris every day. at ge capital, we succeed only when they do. whoo! awesome! yes! we've got to get you out of the office more often. ♪ my turn to drive. ♪ toi switched to a complete0, multivitamin with more. my turn to drive. only one a day women's 50+ advantage has gingko for memory and concentration plus support for bone and breast health. a great addition to my routine. [ female announcer ] one a day women's.
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well, today, all 50 states launched investigations. david muir has been on the phone with the man ahead of it. >> reporter: the attorney general of iowa, tom miller, talking about this, and they're most concerned about these robo signers, the bank workers who signed off on the paperwork without ever even looking at the paperwork, sending the homes and families clo foreclosure without necessarily the case file right there in front of them. >> two questions. back to square one on the foreclosures that have taken place? and what about the future? would there be a halt? >> reporter: there's been a lot of talk about that. the a. gpd doesn't think there's the political appetite for that right now. what he does hope for, with 50 states joining this case, that there will be pressure on the banks to modify the mortgages, to actually bring the mortgage payment down a bit. he arks it's still more than you get on a house that's sitting empty on a foe color sure after paperwork was never read. >> again, 50 states now all weighing in. david, thanks.
and we want to bring you up to date on a story that dr. richard besser broke on our air about the popular drugs like fosamax and increased risk of fractures in the thigh bone. well, today, the fda agreed, warning patients taking those drugs are possibly at greaser risk for these rare but serious femur fractures. drug companies will now be required to add a warning label. and coming up, one world, one moment, watching something joyful together. it doesn't take much; an everyday moment can turn romantic at a moment's notice.
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common. 33 men in clhile who went to wok to take care of their families. and elizabeth vargas has been watching how this circled the globe today. >> reporter: it's not often for people to pause to marvel at the resilience of fellow human beings. for men, women and children in nearly every country on earth, it has been 24 hours of sheer wonder. over the past 24 hours, we've witnessed a universal sigh of relief. and that set off some strong emotions, from tokyo to tehran. >> this is obviously something that's captivated the world's attention. and the tears they shed after so much time apart expressed not only their own joy but the joy of people everywhere. >> reporter: the rescue played live on iran's press tv. china's news agency was reporting from the ground. in japan, crowds gathered to watch at the chilean embassy. there have been precedents for this global transfixing of attention. other missions fraught with
danger, most prominently, the moon landing. then, we focused our attention on the heavens. today, it's a happy ending to a story that unfolded half a mile underground. there have been many times, diane that the world has watched. 9/11 is a most recent example. that was tragic this was such happiness and celebration and made everybody wonder, could i have survived? >> it's great to see the same express in tokyo as you saw in south america. it really was great. and, as you know, there's going to be a special edition of "20/20" tonight. the miracle at the mine. we continue to follow it all, the latest pictures and a lot that is new. and for all of you sitting at home, what a day, and what a good night. good night. bob ehrlich is desperate,
and he'll say anything to get elected. negative attacks the media have repeatedly called "dishonest" and "total malarkey." and why can't we trust bob ehrlich? because he raised taxes and fees by $3 billion then denied it... because he says he's for us, but made $2.5 million at a special interest lobbying firm. and ehrlich says he'll cut education again if elected governor. bob ehrlich-- a career politician we really can't trust.